Malcolm X - Changes in Malcolm’s Perspective of White People
Malcolm X was one of the primary religious leaders and reformers of the 1960, where he fought for and ultimately gave his life for racial equality in the United States. His father was a reverend who believed in self-determination and worked for the unity of black people. Throughout Malcolm’s life he was treated horribly by white people, hence shaping his misconceptions of all white people and developing his strong belief in black separatism. It wasn’t until years later where he embraced his black identity and discovered all races could live and work together for a common goal, brotherhood.
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska. Malcolm’s father believed in self-determination and worked for the unity of black people. Malcolm was raised in a background of ethnic awareness and dignity, but violence was started by white racists trying to prevent black people from succeeding. From the very beginning, even though Malcolm had not discovered his black identity, he had a very clear picture of what it meant to be black in the United States. As a young child, Malcolm, his parents, brothers, and sisters were shot at, harassed, threatened and burned out of their home. One of Malcolm’s earliest memories was when the KKK set his family’s house on fire as the “white police and fireman stood around and watched our house burn to the ground” (p.3). This type of racism ultimately led to the demise of his father by white racists when Malcolm was six. The belief was he was attacked by “the white Black Legion had finally gotten him” (p.10).
Instead of going to school to get a traditional education, he dropped out of school at fifteen and learned the ways of the streets. Malcolm associated himself with thugs, thieves, dope dealers, and pimps. He was convicted of burglary at age twenty and remained in prison until he was twenty-seven. During his prison sentence, he became a changed man. He educated himself and he learned about and joined the Nation of Islam, studying the teachings of Elijah Muhammed. Elijah taught Malcolm how history had been “whitened by the white man”...